It goes without saying that most of us have seen an increase in our struggles over the past few months… Yet each of our experiences during this pandemic have been different, and so has the way we have handled what has been thrown at us.

I have spoken recently with several people and teams, who have weathered the storm well (which may have something to do with their levels of wellbeing before corona hit). And then there are others, who unfortunately have not been as fortunate.

In previous posts, I have suggested that, as a first step in this next stage of the pandemic, people should be gauging where their wellbeing is currently at. This is so they understand what’s working well, where they’re struggling and what actions they can take to improve their situations.

So how do I measure my wellbeing?

One way you can measure your wellbeing is by answering a series of questions relating to Martin Seligman’s wellbeing framework PERMA (with some additions that I have thrown in).

NB: The following questions have been taken from validated wellbeing measures but they are to be used as a guide only. It’s strongly advised that you complete the full version of this survey on the University of Pennsylvania’s Authentic Happiness website.

To complete this exercise, you’ll need a pen and paper and to give yourself a score out of 10 for the following questions. And remember this is a point in time, wellbeing tends to fluctuate.

Over the past week…

  1. How often did you experience positive emotions like joy, interest, contentment, love and happiness? (0 is never, 5 is half the time, 10 is always)
  2. How often did you become so absorbed in what you’re doing that time simply disappeared? (0 is never, 5 is half the time, 10 is always)
  3. How satisfied were you with your personal and professional relationships? (0 is completely dissatisfied, 5 is somewhat satisfied, 10 is completely satisfied)
  4. To what extent, did you feel like you were living in line with your purpose? (0 is not at all, 5 is somewhat, 10 is completely)
  5. How much of the time did you feel like you were making progress towards your goals? (0 is never, 5 is half the time, 10 is always)
  6. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the comment – physically, I felt fit, strong and healthy? (0 is completely disagree, 5 is somewhat agree. 10 is completely agree)
  7. How often did you feel stressed and anxious?(0 is all the time, 5 is half the time, 10 is never)
  • 0 – 17: Struggling
  • 17 – 35: Not feeling bad but just getting by
  • 35 – 52: Living well despite struggles
  • 52 – 70: Thriving

NB: The four categories included above have been taken from the Wellbeing Lab’s 2020 Workplace Survey and are used for illustrative purposes only.

Now add up your scores, which will give you a total out of 70, and see where you sit overall in terms of your wellbeing.

What next?

Each of the seven questions asked are correlated with the following wellbeing elements:

The PERMA++ Framework

Your scores will help you realise the areas you are doing well, as well as those you may like to focus on. And even if you’re thriving, there’s always room for improvement!

So it’s now up to you to take action. Yet studies have shown that people don’t know how to confidently do this (The Wellbeing Lab, 2020). If this is you, take the time to educate yourself on what you need to be well and to address any areas of concern.

For each of the elements listed, there are evidence-based practices from the field of Positive Psychology that you can undertake to help improve your situation. And you can find out more in Seligman’s book Flourish and this YouTube clip. Or a quick google will bring up many results (but make sure you look at credible sources only). Alternatively, my blog has previously covered a number of these topics and the interventions that can be undertaken. And of course, please consult a qualified professional if you’re concerned about your wellbeing or mental health.

The first step in taking control of your wellbeing is knowing where you are currently at. And then it’s up to you to focus your energy and efforts where needed so you can thrive both personally and professionally.